Future nutritionists, botanists emerge at LES

In an effort to empower children to make healthy food choices, develop an awareness of how fruits and vegetables are grown, and increase physical activity, Liberty Elementary School teacher Christy Green joined forces with our friend Bee Moser from Cornell Cooperative Extension to offer an exciting extra-curricular class for all second graders.

Fun, engaging and undoubtedly educational, the class featured a perfect mix of structure and informality. Students were happy to share their personal healthy pursuits, from making an apple pie with mom using fresh apples from the yard to trying – and enjoying – a chickpea from the school’s salad bar.

The goal of the 60 minute class was to teach students about the parts of a plant by focusing on the different parts that we commonly eat – root, stem, seed, flower, fruit, and leaf. Following a brief discussion, students put their knowledge to the test in a game that called for students to match a fruit or vegetable with the part of the plant it is known as. (For example, a carrot is a root, celery is a stem, corn is a seed, broccoli is a flower, etc.)

Together, Ms. Green and Ms. Moser hosted a healthy taste test.  Students were asked to describe size, shape, color, smell and texture of the food before taking a bite. As an added charm school-esque bonus, students learned the importance of a “no thank you bite” and how to discreetly dispose of a food they don’t like using a napkin.

After planting kale seeds in an  ice cream cone (because it’s compostable), students ended the class with a little exercise.